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My thoughts and reflections on past events.

See also: a list of past events which I’ve attended, or a list of my upcoming events.

After Antholojam

Antholojam was a month-long, remote game jam on the theme of golden age science fiction. The resulting anthology of some dozen games – curated at the point of application by Zöe Quinn and Alex Lifschitz – is due for release in January 2015. As the jam has wound up and the bug-free games have been submitted, I thought I’d reflect upon my time as designer, writer and UI artist under my team’s collective name, Wonder Games.

An edited version of "A Planet Wakes' title screen

A thrilling tale of civil engineering

This was my first time participating in a remote game jam, having preferred to work in the same room even during Boob Jam in 2013* – my only other effort in such a format. I still harbour a strong preference for physical-location game jams, however I learned a lot from working in this fashion for a change. My overall conclusion is that A Planet Wakes ended up being a much more professionally-handled project, precisely because we had to co-ordinate our part-time efforts across national boundaries and a 6-week development period. Put simply, there a line quickly became blurred between hobbyist game jamming and the experience my team all have as contract game developers. Credit definitely needs to go to the other individuals who made up Wonder Games, namely:

Prel Mattis in "A Planet Wakes"

Prel Mattis – the player’s point of contact at as a terraforming contractor

* Coincidentally, also working with Delia. Sadly we were unable to finish Boob Jam, for reasons truly worthy of anecdote. By the time the weekend was over, a router had actually exploded.

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TjejHack Formally Founded in Stockholm

Yesterday saw the founding of an ambitious and practically-minded ideellförening (en: non-profit organisation) whose goal is nothing less than the promotion and accessible teaching of game development to girls and women.

TjejHack is a scheme founded by Inger Ekman, whose company – Spelverkstaden AB – brings games education and game jamming to schoolkids and teachers. TjejHack’s club meetings see Inger and a team of exclusively female volunteers passing their expertise on to other girls and women, in a safe and supportive environment.

TjejHack Debut

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LadyCADE & “Mimic” at GameCity 9

Modus OperandiNottingham’s GameCity is a singularly special event in my annual games culture calendar. This year, as the festival also announced its new and permanent home in the city, I threw myself into co-hosting two events for LadyCADE’s first anniversary, as well as helping to show Mimic and experiencing a little of the festival myself.

I was also interviewed for The Guardian on the Monday, and spoke about what I was up to there:

As the rest of my GameCity experience covered show much ground, I’ve opted to return to a photoblog format for this recap. More past the cut!

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SETI-Jam Stockholm

Last weekend I shifted position a little, turning from game jammer into jam co-organiser. Myself, Inger Ekman and Jon Back* arranged our local satellite of the global SETI-Jam – in which astronomers and game developers collaborated using real astronomical data. Our theme was simultaneously broad and fascinating, in that we had to address Frank Drake’s equation, for the likelihood of there being extra-terrestrial intelligence elsewhere in the universe.

Drake's Equation

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